Review: ‘Dragon Quest Builders 2’ creates a cohesive whole out of ‘Minecraft’ formula

“Minecraft” has inspired a generation of games. “Terraria,” “Portal Knights” and “Lego Worlds” all draw from the blockbuster’s idea of scavenging for material, surviving and creating new tools and structures to thrive in the environment.

My only issue with the genre is that they tend to be too freeform. Without many guiding objectives, it turns into an aimless grind. “Dragon Quest Builders” fixed that by buttressing “Minecraft”-ish gameplay with a story that teaches players different aspects of the system while also motivating them with a serviceable narrative.

The original offered the outlines of a great title but the project’s siloed approach and flaws made it cumbersome to play. Fortunately, Square Enix greenlighted a sequel and the publisher’s internal team and Omega Force forged a follow-up that improves on its predecessor in every way.

“Dragon Quest Builders 2” brings together the separate parts that Square Enix showed in the first game and wove it together in a cohesive whole. Players take on the role of a Builder who is captured by the Children of Hargon and taken on a ship. Before the protagonist is transferred, the vessel crashes amid a storm and the Builder washes ashore on the Isle of Awakening along with a mysterious amnesiac named Malroth and a demanding partner named Lulu.

They discover a Hairy Hermit spirit inhabiting the desolate island and it tells the trio that they can change the archipelago by rebuilding it and helping the inhabitants. That takes them to several themed islands — each with its own biome, history and focus. At first, the Builder and Malroth have to free the inhabitants from the Hargon’s disciples and teach them the joys of crafting. As they continue to build, that angers the island’s boss, which they have to defeat.

As players succeed, some villagers offer to take their talents to the Isle of Awakening, where Lulu sets up shop. That’s the basic narrative formula for the main islands, but Square Enix throws a few curveballs that sidetracks the Builder and Malroth on their journey. The story-driven nature of the gameplay makes it less predictable this time around while also fostering a sense of exploration, a key pillar for the genre.

Players will want to venture into the unknown to gather new materials, battle enormous monsters and find puzzle zones that reward them with mini medals. The journey feels less lonely with a computer-controlled Malroth at their

Source:: East Bay – Entertainment


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